A Virtual Contract Signing took place today under the Citizen Security and Justice Programme , between U.B, the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute and the Ministry of National Security to benefit and improve the prospects of at-risk youth.
Min. of National Security the Hon. Marvin Dames, at the Ministry’s offices, November 30, 2020, said that the learning institutions had been selected as the top-ranked firms to deliver Numeracy and Literacy and Soft Skills training to 1,000 beneficiaries over the following 12 months. Those beneficiaries — trainees — would be at-risk youth in New Providence, undergoing critical skills training intervention to increase employability and employment, thereby assist in decreasing crime, and improving lives.
Minister Dames noted, “UB’s Numeracy and Literacy training will be a competency-based learning experience that will improve the learner’s basic mathematical, reading and writing capabilities. These core skills are essential for optimal performance in the workforce.”
“BTVI’s Soft Skills training will enhance the learner’s ability to thrive in dynamic work environments by instilling vital life skills such as leadership, emotional intelligence, teamwork, responsibility and persistence, to name a few,” he added.
Among those taking part in the event (in person and virtually) were Marco Rolle, Permanent Secretary; Dr. Rodney Smith, President, UB; Dr. Robert Robertson, President, BTVI; Dorcas Cox, Project Manager, CSJP; Dr. Maria Woodside-Oriaki, VP of Academic Affairs at UB; Remelda Moxey, Dean of Business, Hospitality & Tourism Studies, UB; Raquel Bethel, Dean of Student Services, BTVI; Lorraine Bastian Jones, UB Director of Continuing Education & Lifelong Learning; Dr. Bernadette Burrows, Events Manager, CSJP; Shacqeel Coleby, Communications and Social Media Specialist, CSJP; and other stakeholders.
Minister Dames pointed out that the Citizen Security and Justice Programme is a 20 million-dollar loan facility, funded by the Inter-American Development Bank and executed by the Government of The Bahamas through the Ministry of National Security, to facilitate the continued response to the mandate of contributing to the reduction of crime and violence in the Bahamas. Component 2 entitled, “Increased employability and employment of the at-risk- youth population in New Providence” is one of the four components of the CSJP, he said.
That component, Minister Dames noted, had a strong focus on youth employability and employment training and aimed to increase employability and employment among at-risk-youth, ages 15-29 years old, in New Providence through the following interventions: establishing an Employability Training Programme for at-risk-youth, focused on the development of Literacy & Numeracy, Soft Skills and Trade Skills for 1,000 beneficiaries; delivering comprehensive, demand-driven training for employment with special emphasis on the Hospitality and Retail sectors for 1,600 beneficiaries; and capacity building of Public Employment Services (PES) under the Ministry of Labour, which would include enhancements to the Electronic Labour Exchange, staff training, engagement of employers, refurbishing of PES offices, and development of youth- targeted services.
“These interventions culminate into a comprehensive approach to reducing crime that combines preventative strategies and institutional strengthening,” he said.
Minister Dames noted that studies have shown that increased employability among disadvantaged youth could directly contribute to a decrease in crime within the youth population. As a result, he said, the Ministry of National Security had embraced employment and skill training as a vital component of a holistic crime-fighting strategy.
“Under the brand, REVIVE Academy, our goal is to give youth from largely challenging and disadvantaged backgrounds a viable alternative to crime and violence, by providing free training opportunities that will increase their chances of finding and maintaining gainful employment,” Minister Dames said. “It is anticipated that at the end of these contracts, 1,000 beneficiaries will successfully graduate from REVIVE Academy through the University of The Bahamas and the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute,” Minister Dames added. “These graduates will have received the necessary training in Numeracy and Literacy to be competitive in the job market and add value to potential employers.”
Additionally, with the help of Public Employment Services, Mr. Dames said, it was hoped that REVIVE Academy graduates would find gainful employment that would allow them to further improve their station in life and provide for their families and loved ones.
“It is my sincere desire that these employment-training opportunities and delivery by two of our leading learning institutions in The Bahamas – namely the University of The Bahamas and the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute –will lead to a safer and more productive society,” he said. “I look forward to seeing this desire become a reality in the very near future.”